Saturday, 12 March 2011

Such Is Life

Cheltenham College, a lovely place knowing that I never have to set foot inside it.

Every once in a while my old secondary school sends out alumni newsletters and magazines, defying my seemingly logical assumption that Cheltenham College crumbled to dust after I left. Apparently it has soldiered on without me, the photogenic contingent of its pupils beaming with enthusiasm and joie de vivre, unaware of the nightmarish, painful, unfulfilling life to come.
I liked school. I was a 300lb potato that stayed very still and as such was somewhat invisible, save for the odd musical or theatrical endeavour. Scholastically I was mediocre at best, and for a long time I looked back on those years as being creatively stifling. To be honest they weren't at all, if it wasn't for the excruciating dullness of the regimented curriculum I wouldn't have felt as motivated to skive off and instead spend time doing comics and attempting to make and sell music online. The staff weren't exactly supportive but they weren't dicks about it either. I think on some level we all understood that if I was ever going to do well it would be from uni onward. Fortunately that turned out to be the case.
My only real gripe was with the head of the art department who insisted I shouldn't be allowed to take Art as a GCSE subject because I was bad at sculpting, which seemed like counterproductive logic; I was way worse at declining participles, but the bastards made me take Latin. I ended up taking Art History for A levels which I loved, I still sucked grades-wise but it cemented my affection for Bacon, Freud, Hockney et al. I wasn't too thrilled at having to stare directly into the anuses of Tracey Emin or Gilbert & George, but those are sacrifices every young schoolboy has made, I'm sure.
Now it seems like decades later (it's actually been about eight and a half years) and I'm still kind of playing catchup. When I approached "House Guest" it was from a background in design, motion graphics and recreational webcomics. There was a huge gap in terms of formative artistic education that it helped to fill, my subsequent films contributing likewise, but I'm sure there are tells to those who know their stuff that I'm winging it from time to time.
My main attempt to amend this is to do more life drawing, which I stupidly didn't do nearly enough of when at UWE. Fortunately, Bristol being the artsy town that it is, there are semi-regular sessions dotted about the place.

You can tell I have nil confidence in faces (yet I'm inexplicably attentive to detail when it comes to bottoms and boobs, odd that*) and anatomical perspective is a brutally uphill battle, but given it's early days I'm quite happy with how it's coming along.

*Chill out, it's not friggin' sacrosanct.

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